Welsh Sustainable Development Indicators

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Welsh Sustainable Development Indicators

The indicator set is in line with the scheme for Sustainable Development, One Wales: One Planet, developed by the Welsh Government. The scheme defines sustainable development as “enhancing the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of people and communities, achieving a better quality of life for our own and future generations, in ways which: promote social justice and equality of opportunity; and enhance the natural and cultural environment and respect its limits – using only our fair share of the earth’s resources and sustaining our cultural legacy”. [1]

To promote sustainable development in Welsh, policies are categorised under the following five themes: sustainable resource use; sustaining the environment; a sustainable economy; a sustainable society and the wellbeing of Wales. To measure progress achieved in sustainable development, indicators are defined for each of the five themes. In addition to measure progress, the sustainable development indicators are also aim to support the identification of these areas where further action is required. To present and make more understandable the progress with the different indicators, the traffic light methodology is used.


The Set encompasses five headline indicators to provide a general overview of progress towards sustainable development.

Headline indicators include:

  • 1.Economic output (GVA and GVA per head in Wales)
  • 2.Social justice (percentage of the population in relative low-income households)
  • 3.Biodiversity conservation (protection of species and habitats)
  • 4.Ecological footprint
  • 5.Wellbeing (physical and mental component scores of a standard set of 36 health question for self-assessment of health perception

In addition to the headline indicators, the set includes the following indicators

  • Sustainable Resource Use:
  • 6. Greenhouse gas emissions
  • 7. Waste (Waste arisings by sector and by disposal)
  • 8. Household waste (Waste arisings and Recycled or composted)
  • 9. Mobility (Walking and Cycling; Public transport use; Travel to work)

*Sustaining the Environment:

  • 10. Bird populations (Short term changes and Long term changes)
  • 11. Ecological impacts of air pollution (Acidity, Nutrient nitrogen
  • 12. Air quality (Urban and Rural)
  • 13. River quality (Biological and Chemical)
  • 14. Soil quality
  • 15. Sustainable water resources management

A Sustainable Economy:

  • 16. Employment
  • 17. Resource efficiency
  • 18. Electricity from renewable sources

The ‘Sustainable Development Indicators for Wales, 2013’

In 2013, for the 44 sustainable development indicators, covering 29 key issues:
• 22 show clear improvement;
• 18 show little or no change;
• 1 shows clear deterioration;
• 3 have insufficient or no comparable data.

See also


  1. http://wales.gov.uk/docs/statistics/2013/130822-sustainable-development-indicators-2013-en.pdf

Welsh National Statistics: Sustainable Development Indicators, 2013

External links